The Netflix binge continued into week four of our quarantine here in Pennsylvania. I figured I would make the most of it by bringing you more Tarot in Pop Culture.
This week I watched Wine Country which Stars Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler and came out a few months back.
When it first came out, I had multiple friends reach out to ask if I was getting paid $475 per half hour for tarot parties. No friends, sadly, I am not.
Wine Country tells the story of a group of friends who go for a trip to California Wine Country to celebrate one their 50th birthdays and to reconnect as friends. Amy Poehler’s character has a tight itinerary for the entire weekend which includes tarot readings for the group.
The reader arrives and complains about how the house was not marked and then says “I’m a psychic, not Magellan.” That gave me a good chuckle.
I find that frequently clients expect me to read their minds. I should know why they are getting a reading but being psychic isn’t like I’m reading your mind. Things don’t come in as clearly as we speak to each other as humans.
But I digress.
Anyway, Amy Poehler’s character greets Madame Sunshine, who comes into their rental house, immediately insults the space declaring she will have to “smudge the heck out of the space”.
Then she states that they need to go to a different room that is not “contaminated”.
The rules of social grace also apply to being a tarot reader. I would never walk into someones home and insult their space or the energy of their house. I might notice if something was off but I wouldn’t through jabs at a host or hostess.
Then she finally sits down to read.
What I found most interesting about this is that she reads for each woman in front of the rest of the group. She doesn’t ask any questions or get any insight as to what they want to focus on. She simple pulls a card and then starts reading.
As a rule, I try to keep readings at a party off to the side so that people can have privacy, since readings can tend to become very personal very quickly. If I can be in a separate room, it’s even better because it allows the client to feel more comfortable opening up. I’ve given some really powerful readings in that type of environment, even though they are typically very short readings.
As a rule I try not to ever give a reading in front of other people, unless the sitter specifically requests it because you can’t be sure of what will come up and how comfortable they will be talking about it in public.
However, in a movie, I see how it can help for comedic effect and to move the plot along.
I also find it interesting that she pulls one card per person. You can certainly gain some insight from a single card pull but not nearly as much as with a few cards, and even with short readings you can usually find enough time to pull at least three cards.
The second sitter who come up for her reading asks Madam Sunshine a question, which she ignores and just continues her reading. Not only is this rude, but it’s also a no-no. Questions are like the filter you put the card through, so if the sitter has a specific question in mind it can completely change the meaning of the card. That’s why I always offer clients the opportunity to pick a topic or a specific question at the beginning of their reading.
Then, she pulls the Death card. She reads it as transformation and metamorphosis and I was thinking “Finally, a movie that actually doesn’t use the old death card = death trope”…but I thought too soon. In the next breath says, “But it can also mean death is coming.”
By the time, she gets around the group reading, the women are all so freaked out and discouraged they tell her not to bother. She pulls the cards, looks at them and says, “Yeah, you’re right, nevermind.” This sends the group into a panic asking what it says and is it bad.
This part puzzled me because she pulled the Seven of Cups, The Four of Wands, and Temperance. She tells them they surround themselves with battles, that they have been intertwined and dueling for thousands of years, and that they need to shed their tough shells that have built up over time if they are going to remain friends. There’s a lot of secrets. Finally she says, “From one old lady to another, get over your shit, cause it is later than you think. That will be $475.”
I would have read that same spread as trying to fit too much into a short period of time, a message to focus on quality time, not quantity and to focus on the moment of connection, and try to stay present with each other. There’s healing to be found in our connection with our friends if we can get over the pettiness that keeps you bickering. Bring your focus back to the strengths in your relationships and what brought you together in the first place.
As for getting paid $475 for a half hour reading…I laughed out loud. Sadly, that is not my rate right now, but I did get a kick out of it.
Overall I found this representation to be pretty typical for hollywood. I was a little disappointed but I also recognize where it is a convenient plot point to stir up tension between the friends and also added a certain level of comedic effect. And of course, it’s important to approach readings with a sense of humor, so I suppose they nailed that.
If you are interested in a tarot party, I am currently offering online tarot parties as an option for a fun socially-distant night in with friends. I allow clients to hang out in the virtual zoom room and chat with each other, while I do readings in a separate breakout room where I do the individual readings. You can email me firstname.lastname@example.org to book now.
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